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He was named, by majority owner Rob Nalder, after one of the greatest cricketers of the twentieth century – the explosive West Indian batsmen Viv Richards. The Aussie Caribbean Blaster certainly didn’t let anyone down and especially not the great man Viv Richards. Two people who he did leave an indelible impression on are the husband and wife team Andy and Kate Gath. “He’s the most perfect horse I’ve ever trained” said Andy recently. “He’s everything you want in a horse – great gaited, a great constitution and amazing recovery rate after a tough run, perfect conformation and always gave 120% in all his races.” Sadly Caribbean Blaster suffered a suspensory injury in late July and he will now commence a new chapter in his best selling life story – a stud career at Yirribee Stud in Southern NSW, under the management of his part owner Alabar Bloodstock. The “Blaster” displayed the attributes of a top horse right from the start, albeit he raced rather greenly in his three starts as a two year old. As a three year old, there were signs that he could develop into a “Big Time” horse – second in the Group One South Australian Derby, a fast closing second to Sushi Sushi in the Breeders Crown Semi Final and then a close up fourth place finish from the 12 hole in the Breeders Crown Final – his own mile rate being 1:54.9 for the 2240 metres. Just five days later Caribbean Blaster won The Graduate, a 2240 metre standing start race, in a 1:57.5 mile rate – an Australasian record which remains to this day. “The turning point in Caribbean Blaster’s career came when he triumphed in the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle” said Andy Gath. That night he defeated Sushi Sushi, Excel Stride and the hotshot Kiwi Hands Christian in 1:52.6, last quarter in 26.6 seconds. The defining victory in his career was the 2012 Victoria Cup when he was handed the number 13 saddlecloth to start with. Aided by a brilliant Kate Gath steer, the Blaster defeated Australia’s best including Im Themightyquinn, Smoken Up, Mah Sish, Washakie and The Gold Ace to name a few. Caribbean Blaster raced on 79 occasions in a predominately four season career for 24 victories and prizemoney of $1,113,678 – he passed the million dollar mark when defeating the mighty warrior Smoken Up in the 2014 South Australian Cup. He was driven in every one of those starts by the effervescent Kate Gath. As impressive as Caribbean Blaster was on the racetrack, he has a pedigree that could be described as glittering as diamonds. His sire Bettor’s Delight as a champion stallion and has dominated the Leading Sires lists in the Southern Hemisphere for the past three years. Caribbean Blaster is from the Safely Kept mare Kalypso and was bred and sold at the 2009 APG sales for $70,000 by the Bathurst based Brooklyn Lodge. He is thus a half brother to four winners including Protikori ($212,109), placed in four Group One events, and the $125,000 winning Kalypson Kid 1:56.4. Caribbean Blaster will stand at Yirribee Pacing Stud for a debut Service Fee of $2,750 (incl GST). All booking enquiries can be directed to Alabar Bloodstock – (03) 5859 2201. Harnesslink Media        

Over a long period now, New Zealand bred horses have enjoyed great success in the major harness racing age and group classics in Western Australia. Already this season in Western Australia, the New Zealand bred Three Blind Mice 1:56.7 ($161,891) has taken out the Western Australian Derby while the New Zealand bred filly Libertybelle Midfrew 1:56.1 ($261,267) was way too good in the West Australian Oaks. Last night (Friday 18th July) at Gloucester Park in the $125,000 Premier Suzuki Golden Slipper for two year olds, it was the recent New Zealand import Beaudiene Boaz who reinforced that Kiwi dominance with a outstanding performance to win convincingly over all the best two year olds in Western Australia. Wide early from barrier five and then checked by The Odd Lover, Gary Hall (Jnr)sent Beaudiene Boaz around to the death seat outside the leader Major Reality after 500 meters. With a lap to go Gary Hall (Jnr) really applied some pressure to the leader with a 28.5 quarter down the back straight before shooting clear at the 400 for an emphatic victory. Two New Zealand breds filled the minor placings with Mister Ardee finishing well for second and Major Reality battling on well for third. Beaudiene Boaz paced the 2130 meters in a smart 2:35.3, a mile rate of 1:57.3 with closing sectionals of 56.1 and 27.6. It was the second major win of the season for Beaudiene Boaz who scored a stunning win in the $150,000 Harness Jewels for two year old colts and geldings at Cambridge in New Zealand in a very quick 1:54 for the mile on the 1000 metre circuit. Bought at last years yearling sales for $62,000 by Ray Green on behalf of Lincoln Farms, Beaudiene Boaz was sold to clients of leading Western Australian trainer Gary Hall after his Harness Jewels win. A son of the Nevele R based sire Badlands Hanover, Beaudiene Boaz is a full sister to the former outstanding filly Beaudiene Bad Babe 1:55.7 ($404,898) who was also a Harness Jewels winner during her career. Judging by the ease of last nights win Beaudiene Boaz looks to be set for a huge future in Western Australia. Beaudiene Boaz Clint Hall on Beaudiene Boaz Harnesslink media    

Supersonic four-year-old Alta Christiano looks on track for the remainder of the season after an effortless resumption at Gloucester Park yesterday. The injury prone pacer, who has been sidelined twice already in his short career to date, was sent forward to the lead early. He then enjoyed a nice run in the van before unleashing a strong last quarter to dash away and win easily in the hands of Clinton Hall, who replaced his brother Gary Hall Jnr, who is out on a 30 day suspension. The former West Australian Derby winner looked very big in condition and is sure to take plenty of benefit out of yesterday’s win. Alta Christiano has now won eight of his twelve career starts and remains unbeaten in Australia. But, while Alta Christiano justified his stinking hot favouritism, those who backed his stablemate Elegant Christian into a $1.04 were left with a sour taste in their mouth. The Christian Cullen three-year-old, who will start one of the favourites in the upcoming Derby, was forced to race parked and after lugging in for the majority of the journey he was beaten a head by another capable type in Mister Jadore. This prompted stewards to stand Elegant Christian down for a period of six days. He will also have to trial once before returning to the races. Meanwhile, champion pacer Im Themightyquinn has thrilled the Hall clan in his first week back hoppling. By Mitchell Robertson

  STAR Tasmanian three-year-old pacer Resurgent Spirit is on the verge of matching a winning race record with Halwes, regarded as one of the greatest standardbreds of all time.   Resurgent Spirit captured the record of the most number of consecutive wins from debut when he notched his 12th win in succession in the 3YO Championship in Launceston early last month to overtake Dare We Dream’s record of 11 straight.   The Roger Whitmore-trained gelding will line up in a C1 in Hobart on Sunday night and from barrier two in a nine-horse field he should be able to roll to the front and give his rivals a pacing lesson.   If successful he also will take the record of the most number of consecutive wins in Tasmania of all classes that is presently shares by the great Golden Alley and Happy prospect that each won 12 in succession on home soil.   The gelded son of American Ideal was bred by his trainer-owner and given the ease with which he won a trial recently clocking a sensational last half he should be able to keep his unbeaten record intact, barring accidents.   The horse has gone from strength to strength this time in and he has been well looked after by his owner-trainer.   If there was to be an upset it could come from the Christian Salter-trained Vande Velde that has been racing well this time in with a first-up second to Resurgent Spirit in the 3YO Championship followed by a win in Hobart in a C0 and a last-start fourth in a C1 over 2200 metres in Launceston.   The following are statistics of winning sequences of some of Tasmania’s former stars compiled by historian Peter Cooley:   The performances of three year old pacer Resurgent Spirit in winning his first 12 starts, has bought up the question of who has been our best juvenile pacer in Tasmania.   Dare You Dream created a big impression by winning his first 11 starts, four two year olds and seven the following year. In all he won 14 of his 17 races and is the only Tasmanian bred pacer to win his first 11 starts.   The ill fated Cody Maverick did not win until his fourth start but then reeled off nine in a row before his tragic death at Bendigo.   The great Halwes won 13 in a row during his career, the last being the Tasmanian Championship final which he won from 48 yards (40 metres).His next start he lost on protest to Robin Dundee in Melbourne.   Golden Alley won his first 12 Tasmanian starts, although in that time he suffered three defeats in Victoria. At his 13th Tasmanian start he was defeated by Scott’s Bay in a heat of the Tasmanian Championships.   Happy Prospect won 10 races as a two year old, with three defeats. .He won his last seven starts as a two year old and his first five as a three year old, a total of 12 in a row. He raced 21 times for 17 wins.   Prospect Star won a total of 20 races in his juvenile years, five as a two year old and 15 the following year.   Another Shy had 11 two year old wins (eight in a row) and won another eight as a three year old Perhaps the best two year old the state has produced was The Yank.   In the 1978 season he raced 12 times for 10 wins (nine in a row). Amongst his wins were the $ 15,000 NSW Challenge    Stakes and the $ 10,000 NSW Saplings Stakes. He also had two starts on Moonee Valley winning from 30 and 40 metres behind.   Mi Coconut won her first 10 starts in Tasmania and Victoria.   Halyer won four races from nine starts as a two year old, including his last two as a two year old.    The following season he won his first nine starts before finishing second in the NSW Derby. He rounded off the season by winning   the Australian Derby at Gloucester Park   It was harder for pacers that raced many years ago to string together a long sequence of wins.   The great stallion Our Globe won his two starts as a three year old, the following season he raced four times for as many wins including the New Norfolk Cup.   As a five year old he met his first defeat in a Sorell Cup, and then with only seven life time starts he contested the 1938/39 Inter Dominion at Launceston.   Our Globe defeated Springfield Globe in the first round of heats. He then defeated Globe Dorell in the second set of heats three days later.   He was disqualified for six months when he finished unplaced on the third day of the Championships.   The two pacers he defeated on the first and second day ran the quinella in the Final. Our Globe resumed racing eight months later and won his first three starts.   Consecutive Wins from Debut Resurgent Spirit            12 Dare We Dream           11 Mi Coconut                  10   Consecutive Wins Halwes             13 Resurgent Spirit            12 Happy Prospect           12 Halyer                          11 Cody Maverick            9 The Yank                     9 Another Shy                 8   Consecutive Wins in Tasmania Golden Alley                12 Resurgent Spirit            12 Happy Prospect           12 Halyer                          9 By Peter Staples  

If there has been one horse post-draw punters have been willing to discard totalling it would be the horse from the far west of the state – Paua Fella. Trained by Kevin Brough at Heywood, the Artistic Fella gelding continues to defy the odds and will line up in his first Group 1 ever in the VHRSC Victoria Derby. And when he has to take on the big guns in the form of Barry Purdon and Belinda and Luke McCarthy, there is little wonder why the South Australian Derby winner has drifted from $41 to $61 with TAB fixed odds. But Brough won’t be giving up hope just yet, even if thinks didn’t quite pan out his way with the barriers. “We were very happy with the way he went in the heat, from the draw we didn’t think he would get in, we thought he might have to do too much work but the way it panned out I was really happy,” Brough said. “He just seems to be one of those horses that keep improving with every run and he is just taking the next step each time which helps when you start to get into this sort of class.  “We could have done with a better barrier but we’ll just be hoping to slot in somewhere with a nice run. We are just happy to be there, if he gets the right run into things we’ll be hoping he can run into it.” Underrated at every turn, Paua Fella has started at $37, $17 and $20 in his last three starts with his worst effort a fast-finishing second behind Motor Smoken in last week’s heat. It might not be the last punters see of the three-year-old either with Brough weighing up his options following the race. “He’s always shown a bit at home but he’s been a bit headstrong, he pulls really hard at home but now at the races he is starting to settle down a bit which is helping him,” he said. “We’re debating on giving him a bit of a let up and then aim him at the Vicbred and the Breeders Crown; he’s eligible for both so we will see how he goes this weekend. “He’s still not filled out properly; he’s a very tall horse so I’d say after another spell he will turn into a really nice horse.” The VHRSC Victoria Derby will be run at 10pm as the last leg of the Quaddie and Race 8 on the card. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria

THE performances of now three-year-old pacer Resurgent Spirit in winning his first 10 starts, has raised the question of which horse has been Tasmania's best performed juvenile pacer. Resurgent Spirit took his consecutive tally to 10 when he emerged triumphant at his first start this season in Hobart last Sunday night. The Roger Whitmore-trained gelding is only two wins away from the record of consecutive wins in Tasmania. Dare We Dream created a big impression by winning his first 11 starts - four two year olds and seven the following season. In all he won 14 of his 17 races and is the only Tasmanian bred pacer to win his first 11 starts. The ill fated Cody Maverick did not win until his fourth start but then reeled off nine in a row before his tragic death at Bendigo in the 2008 Breeders Crown 2YO final. The great Halwes won 13 in a row during his career , the last being the Tasmanian Championship final which he won from 48 yards (40 metres). At his next start he lost on protest to Robin Dundee in Melbourne. Golden Alley won his first 12 Tasmanian starts, although in that time he suffered three defeats in Victoria. At his 13th Tasmanian start he was defeated by Scott's Bay in a heat of the Tasmanian Championships. Happy Prospect won 10 races as a two year old, with three defeats. .He won his last seven starts as a two year old and his first five as a three year old, a total of 12 in a row. He raced 21 times for 17 wins. Prospect Star won a total of 20 races in his juvenile years, five as a two year old and 15 the following year. Another Shy had 11 two year old wins (eight in a row) and won another eight as a three year old Perhaps the best two year old the state has produced was The Yank. In the 1978 season he raced 12 times for 10 wins (nine in a row). Amongst his wins were the $ 15,000 NSW Challenge Stakes and the $ 10,000 NSW Saplings Stakes. He also had two starts on Moonee Valley winning from 30 and 40 metres behind. Mi Coconut won her first 10 starts in Tasmania and Victoria. Halyer won four races from nine starts as a two year old, including his last two as a two year old. The following season he won his first nine starts before finishing second in the NSW Derby. But at his subsequent start he won the Australian Derby at Gloucester Park in Western Australia. It was harder for pacers that raced many years ago to string together a long sequence of wins. The great stallion Our Globe won his two starts as a three year old, the following season he raced four times for as many wins including the New Norfolk Cup. As a five year old he met his first defeat in a Sorell Cup, and then with only seven life time starts he contested the 1938/39 Inter Dominion at Launceston. Our Globe defeated Springfield Globe in the first round of heats. He then defeated Globe Dorell in the second set of heats three days later but he was disqualified for six months when he finished unplaced on the third day of the Championships. The two pacers he defeated on the first and second day ran the quinella in the Final. Our Globe resumed racing eight months later and won his first three starts. Consecutive Wins from Debut Dare We Dream 11 Mi Coconut 10 Resurgent Spirit 10 Consecutive Wins Halwes 13 Happy Prospect 12 Halyer 11 Cody Maverick 9 The Yank 9 Another Shy 8 Consecutive Wins in Tasmania Golden Alley 12 Peter Staples  

It proved to be a winning weekend for the Aldons family. And on both sides of the ditch. Last Friday afternoon, maiden three-year-old filly Triple Bouquet registered her first victory when successful at Cambridge while the following day, Afro Samurai proved too strong winning at Albion Park. Both pacers are raced by Dr. Pat Aldons and his wife Rhonda. Afro Samurai is the stable star from the Logan Village based operation where the family has a team of five race horses with at least another ten youngsters on the books. Bred by the Aldons Family in New Zealand, Afro Samurai has raced with distinction since crossing the Tasman as a three-year-old, the Julius Caesar – Lady Lucy Lou gelding contested the Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland Derby’s while claiming the Silver Vase at Terang in his Australian debut defeating subsequent Queensland Derby winner Best Deal Yet. Afro Samurai commenced his career with close family friend Mike Berger in Cambridge before a stint with Peter Manning while Ben Aldons, son of Pat and Rhonda now prepares the talented pacer. The victory provided Ben with his first metropolitan triumph. “It was a great victory on so many levels; the horse earned his victory while it great to see Ben land his first Saturday night winner, a proud night for the family indeed.” Dr. Aldons said. The 5yo will continue to race through his metropolitan grades in Brisbane before future options are considered but a career in North America is likely. The Aldons family enjoyed good success when they raced their former Australian Derby winner City Rogue abroad a decade ago. Triple Bouquet caused a major upset when successful in the Garrards Horse and Hound Fillies & Mares Pace over 2200m. The Mach Three filly was sent off at massive odds but responded nicely to a Todd Macfarlane drive, sent forward early from a wide gate before obtaining the one out – one back trail and then sustaining a determined sprint from the 400m mark to hold out race favorite Strawberry Miss. Triple Bouquet is prepared by Dave and Clare McGowan at Pukekoke. The diminutive filly is the first horse prepared by the McGowan’s for the Aldons family. “My daughter Kylie purchased this filly very cheaply for me from the New Zealand Yearling Sales at Karaka, her strike rate remains at 100% after buying Christian Miracle (9 wins – 7 in a row) a few years ago. “I don’t think this filly has that sort of ability but she will eventually end up in Brisbane at some point, Dave and Clare have done a tremendous job with her.” The Aldons family has raced pacers on both sides of the Tasman for many years, spreading their stock amongst the likes of Mike Berger, Dave and Clare McGowan plus Davey and Catherine Butt. In recent years, they have slowly reduced their breeding operation in New Zealand and relocated many of their mares to their Queensland farm where they continue to breed healthy numbers annually. However, Dr. Aldons still has hope for another New Zealand based filly. Sweet Lucy Brown, a three-year-old Mach Three – Hot Shoe Shuffle ($295k) filly remains in work with Mike Berger. The half-sister to Australasian Breeders Crown winner Glenferrie Shuffle has battled some niggling injuries to date but continues to show strong ability. “I’m hoping Mike can get her sorted so we can look at some of the better class races with her later this season. She might even end up in Australia at some point, time will tell.” Dr. Aldons said. HOOFNOTE: Dr. Aldons is a leading thoracic physician at The Prince Charles Hospital. by Chris Barsby

For some elite athletes, when one door closes another often opens and this is now the case for six year old stallion Lanercost. The welcome banner has gone up at the picturesque Yirribee Pacing Stud at Wagga Wagga NSW for the wickedly fast, and handsome son of Courage Under Fire, who stands at an impressive 16hh. The owner Dean Shannon's Montana Park and trainer Darrell Graham made the decision to bring the curtain down on a glorious career - a career that was hampered in recent times by recurring hamstring problems. His race career commenced on 3rd April 2009 with a bold statement for a 2year old - a 1.56.3 victory at the Gold Coast. This performance was certainly not a fluke - a career resume' that read, 43 starts 29 wins and a bankroll of $506,324 was proof of that. Lanercost was a pacer that fitted the company of "Royalty" with ease. His biggest assets were his blistering speed, especially off the gate, and his lovely fluent and efficient gait. These two weapons were used to the max on 30th April 2011 in the $200,000 Chariots of Fire. After blasting off the gate in 27.7, Lanercost controlled the race and with a record 26.5 record closing quarter, recorded a stunning victory in 1.52.5. Left in his wake that day were Bitobliss, Motu Crusader, For A Reason & Chariot King. Hamstring problems hampered his racing career not long after his chariots victory, so now a new chapter begins in the life of Lanercost. He has a pedigree to match his good looks and stunning race career. His sire, Courage Under Fire, needs little introduction to breeders of Australasia. He is arguably the greatest juvenile pacer in the history of harness racing in the Southern Hemisphere. His 24 successive wins including 6 Derbies and a World record in the Australian Derby are testament to that. Courage Under Fire is now one of the leading four or five stallions in the Southern Hemisphere having sired Smolda 1.52.1, Franco Jamar 1.51.9, Courage to Rule 1.52.9, Glengowan 1.52.2, Glenferrie Alexis 1.55.9 etc. His Dam - Lanoch by New York Motoring has now produced 8 individual winners, 3 in better than 1.55 and 5 winners in 2.00. The female line of Lanercost does not contain any weak links - it abounds in stallions that have been to the forefront of breeding in New Zealand namely New York Motoring, Vance Hanover, Scottish Hanover, Garrison Hanover and Grattan Loyal. Lanercost is now at his new home - the picturesque Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga. His debut season service fee is $2970 including GST with usual discounts to apply. LANERCOST RACE RECORD AGE     STARTS    1ST       2ND      3RD    EARNINGS        TIME 2           10               8          2           -        $109,224         1.56.3 3           14             9            1          3        $163,564          1.57.2 4           12             10          1          1        $202,704          1.52.5 5             3              1             -          -          $12,620          1.59.8 6             4              1            1          -          $18,212          1.59.1               43            29           5         4       $506,324 Race Highlights At Two - won Heats Kevin Seymour Pace, Australasian Breeders Crown, Semi Final Aust Breeders Crown, Big 6 2yo Pace (defeating Smiling Shard). 2nd in Kevin Seymour Final & Australasian Breeders Crown (Beaten ½ neck) At Three - Won Australian Derby (Gr1), Tasmanian Derby (Gr1), Caduceus Club Cup, Heat VIC Derby (3rd in Final) At Four - Won Chariots of Fire (Gr1) (Last Half in 54.2 last ¼ in 26.5), QLD 4yo Championship, Heat of Aust Breeders Crown (scratched from Final) At Five and Six - Won QLD Christmas Cup For more information, please call Joanne Andersen on 0414 936663. A video of Lanercost winning the Chariots Of Fire is attached with the photos Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |

Successful harness racing owner Paul Kahlefeldt enjoyed his best day in harness racing on Sunday afternoon when his two year old Lettucerockthem won the Two Year Old Colts and Geldings Australian Pacing Gold Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. It was Kahlefeldt’s first win at the elite level and the victory was even sweeter as he bred the youngster by Art Major.

When harness racing stalwarts gather for a special occasion they invariably start to reminisce about some of the stars of bygone days and in Tasmania the conversation usually focuses on Halwes, Golden Alley or Sinbad Bay.

Harness racing trainer Darrel Graham would struggle as a professional poker player. His 'game face' would be his weak link. That matters little though as the astute horseman puts the polish on Australia's best 3yo pacing colt Lanercost who is preparing for his return to racing with the Gold Coast and Queensland Derbies the main focus.

Star Queensland three-year-old pacer Lanercost ($1.90) produced a career best harness racing performance to win the Group 1 $100,000 Australian Derby over 2698 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston last night (Sunday).

If Victorian harness trainer Andy Gath is right in his assessment of his three-year-old Renaissance Man then the equal favourite for this Sunday Night's Country Club Tasmania Australian Derby (2698m) will have a fight on his hands.

Andy Gath stuck to the "good things come to those who wait" philosophy with Renaissance Man. The reigning Victorian two-year-old male Harness Horse of the Year has started from horror barriers at his past two Group 1s, but Gath remained confident that the tide would eventually turn.

Queensland three-year-old and likely favorite Lanercost will have to deal with a back-row draw in the Country Club Tasmania Australian Derby at The TOTE Racing Centre on Sunday, March 21. Lanercost drew gate 10 at the official Barrier Draw held at Country Club Tasmania in Launceston today (Tuesday).

Tomorrow night's Moonee Valley program is one Shannon McLean has been looking forward to all season. The 32-year-old only has two horses in his Gisborne South stable, but they are gun mare Broadway Play and Victoria Oaks-winning filly Broadways Best.

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